June 24, 2017 5:33 pm
Updated: June 24, 2017 6:12 pm

Rain can’t dampen enthusiasm for Frederiction’s annual Cultural Expressions Festival

WATCH ABOVE: It was a rainy Saturday in Fredericton, but the annual Cultural Expressions Festival continued indoors. Jeremy Keefe reports.

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For the first time in its nine-year history, Fredericton’s Cultural Expressions Festival was held indoors due to heavy rainfall Saturday morning.

The late change in venue didn’t seem to hamper the event’s ability to draw a crowd, however.

The event, which sees nearly 20 cultural groups take part in singing, dancing and more each year, is usually held in Officers’ Square.

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This time, however, the Capital Exhibit Centre was decked out to ensure the show could still go on despite the less than desirable weather.

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“If it would’ve been just a little rain, we would’ve let it go in Officers’ Square,” explained festival co-chair Jerry Blom. “We waited [until] the very last minute.”

Friday night’s kickoff took place at the downtown landmark despite some light rain.

While things started slow, Blom said, the area was nearly full two hours into the celebration.

“People have just been streaming in 20, 30, 40 at a time,” Blom said.

In observance of Canada 150, organizers made another change to this year’s event — one that was planned much further in advance, and didn’t rely on weather conditions.

“Normally we always feature a certain country,” Blom explained. “But [at] this [year’s] event we went neutral to showcase the diversity in this country.”

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Cultural Expressions Festival vendor Annie Gbotoe

Jeremy Keefe / Global News

Annie Gbotoe, originally from Africa, takes part in the festival each year, setting up a table featuring African clothing.

She says her excitement for the festival isn’t only because the event offers her a chance to showcase her culture to others, but also because she gets to experience her fellow Fredericton neighbours’ different backgrounds as well.

“I love the festival because you see a whole lot of performances from different culture groups,” she said. “It’s so amazing to see immigrants come together in New Brunswick to celebrate every year.”

Organizers say they hope to make next year’s event even bigger to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the festival.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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